Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting to No

Although it may not be evident because of my a) $0 salary, b) lack of an office with bookshelves containing books that don’t all rhyme, and c) business cards that include the word “mommy,” I have an MBA. One of the things you learn in business school is the art of negotiation, and one of the books we b-school types read is called “Getting to Yes.” Tonight, my local mom’s group is hosting a speaker night called “Turning No Into Yes.”

Right now, I could give a crap about YES.

All day long, I say no. No playing in the dog dish. No climbing the bookshelves. No putting your hands in the fish tank. No turning on the faucet. No eating mud. No licking. (That last one is usually, but not always, directed at the dog.) Nope. Uh uh. Please stop. No thank you. No! My pleas fall on deaf ears.

I think my son understands no, but he simply doesn’t feel the need to listen to me. He has autism. And he’s three. And there is nothing about that combination that makes him want to behave. Even when Moe does listen, by say, getting down off the bookshelf/toy bin/filing cabinet, he doesn’t seem to understand that he shouldn’t do it again. So I sound like very negative broken record.

I don’t like to have to say no all the time. I’d love to do what the books say: be positive, redirect to a preferred activity. But Moe is very driven to do what he wants to do, and right now his number one preferred activity is climbing the furniture, followed closely by getting into trouble some other way. Even my neurotypical 16 month ol daughter, who is very verbal, likes to taunt me. She’ll go up to the dog dish, say (and sign!) “no!” and then proceed to throw the dog food onto the floor. Good times.

So getting to yes might be fine for some people. Right now, I just need my kids to get to no.

You can read more about Moe, his sister, and our obsessive compulsive dog, at my personal blog, Anybody Want A Peanut?


  1. I'm right there with you! My 3yo, who's going through his first eval on September 7, simply ignores all the "No's" directed towards him. The child is also eating everything. Seriously. It's like I have another puppy in the house. Thing is, we do have a puppy and she chews less than he does. Maybe because she understands no and has chosen not to do what the 3yo mischevious little boy does. Daily.

    Oh to find the skills I'm clearly missing to lead my child to no.

  2. I prefer to think of my son's "behavior" issues not as willful defiance and non-compliance but that he has an agenda, and it's not mine! :)

    When he was that age (OK, and still today at age 13, but about different things), we had to reward the heck out of him for "wanted" behaviors -- sort of making *my* agenda way more desirable than his agenda.

    Hoping you find peace this evening...

  3. Wow..can I ever relate.
    found you through the sits on facebook


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